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tv   News Nation  MSNBC  January 30, 2014 11:00am-12:01pm PST

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i'm craig melvin in for tamron hall. we start this "news nation" today with some breaking news italy. at any moment, any moment now we are expected to get the verdict in in the third murder trial of u.s. student amanda knox and her boyfriend, her former boyfriend. you may recall that knox was convicted in her first trial. that verdict was overturned. knox was then freed. but then italy's highest court ordered this third trial. knox herself is not in italy, she's here in the united states. she's refusing to attend that trial fearing she would be returned to jail. we're on the ground in italy. we will have that verdict for you live just as soon as it's announced. join msnbc. now to that other big story we continued to follow. the fallout from the rare winter storm that brought the city of atlanta and the surrounding area to a complete stand still.
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stranding motorists in their cars and children in their schools for more than 24 hours. governor nathan diehl ended the blame game saying that the buck stops with him. >> i'm not going to look for a scapegoat. i am the governor. the buck stops with me. i accept the responsibility for it, but i also accept the responsibility of being able to make corrective actions as they come into the future. >> now earlier in the day mayor of atlanta took a different approach vigorously defending his response. >> yesterday by 2:00 p.m., about 24 to 36 hours later within the city limits our roads were 80% passable and the city was operational and functioning. the highways are not the responsibility of the city. >> today all around that city, all around metro atlanta people are starting, starting to retrieve those abandoned cars
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from gridlocked highways. new cars have been towed away to clear the streets. all the children who were stranded in schools though have been returned home. schools and government offices remain closed. there's still some ice on the roads there. as the temperatures rise they hope to get roads and highways cleared in time for tomorrow's commute. more than a dozen deaths throughout the south have been blamed on this rare winter storm. five of those deaths in alabama. the entire region has not seen snow and ice like this in more than a decade. those icy roads made travel dangerous from louisiana to florida to the carolinas. joining me live now wxia atlanta reporter matt pearl. matt, let's start with how things are looking now in your area what's the word? >> well, i can tell you this much. i'm standing on the 17th street bridge overlooking the i-75/85 connector. this is the main artery of traffic in downtown atlanta. two days ago this was a parking lot and right now it looks like
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a summer day out there. very little ice on the roads. all major highways, i think there are a couple of state roads that still have some ice on them and are unpassable. for the most part the major highways are clear on some lanes. things traffic wise are starting to return to normal, but now the big question is going to be everybody trying to get their cars and officials are trying to ensure that that happens as soon as possible, particularly today and this evening so that when folks start going back to work tomorrow the commute isn't nearly as jumbled. >> matt starting us out there. joining me on the phone now is natalie dale. she's a spokesperson for the georgia department of transportation. also with us is rebecca burns, deputy editor of "atlanta magazine." also the author of several books on the city of atlanta. natalie, let me start with you first of all. when did -- when did the d.o.t., when did the department of transportation first realize there was going to be a problem on the roads and highways? was it tuesday, the day it
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started snowing, or was it the day before? >> actually, tuesday morning when we had an update from the weather service that that weather front had shifted and would be hitting us early, we had our crews out pretreating all of our major overpasses, bridges, exit ramps, trouble spots in the metro atlanta area. what we depended on after that was car free roads in order to get that second wave of treatment down. we didn't have anything but that. >> why would you guys be depending on that? why would you expect that was going to be the case when we knew at that point there were lots of businesses that had not released their employees just yet and schools that had not done the name. >> well, as we rolled in with our crews tuesday morning laying down that pretreatment, we were working feverishly to get that. we knew if we started to lay a salt rock mixture on dry roads with commuters coming in, it was going to be virtually ineffective. it would blow away with the wind. the pretreatment has a self
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life. with that many cars coming over it we needed to get it down before the storm. we had the morning rush hour and we had the second wave of people trying to leave the city around noon. it didn't give us much time to get our work done. >> natalie, stand by for me. i want to bring in rebecca burns here. rebecca, you wrote an interesting piece in politico that caught our attention this morning. your contingent is this isn't the result of a nasty winter storm, this isn't the result of the city's lack of response either, this is the result of something else. what is that? >> it really is the result of five decades of bad traffic planning and vol canization of an area that sprawled beyond the city. when people talk about the city being paralyzed, the city is a very small land area and a very small percentage of the population. there was a lot of other people getting out to the suburbs that caused gridlock. >> rebecca, this is for a lot of
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folks who -- again, i'm from south carolina. i know what snow and ice does to the roads down there. also what snow and ice does to drivers as well in the south. what are you hearing from people there in atlanta with regards to the response, with regards to how all of this was handled? >> i think that part of why politico contacted me first was just can you explain. this was not a matter of southerners not knowing how to drive on ice, let me just say that. >> good. >> this really was a fiasco that's about transit and about planning and not about a weather situation. i think people were just frustrated. they were overwhelmed. i mean, everyone left -- tried to get out of downtown to get back to their schools and their homes and pick up their kids at the same time. when you have a million people leaving a town spreading out to far-flung suburbs and the roads start icing, it was just a
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recipe for disaster. i think people were frustrated by the timing and by everything hitting at once. >> what's the fix? next time -- next time this happens, again, we're not even to february, there's a good chance something like this happens over the next month or two? >> i mean, i think that if it happens again, people will take weather warnings more seriously and we hope that also schools and the governor and the city and the many cities that are part of metro atlanta can coordinate communications sooner. this really pointed for me, it was an alarming thing about what if a real disaster, not just a couple of inches of snow, but something more serious hit. would atlanta be frozen by gridlock. >> natalie, two last questions. sorry to step on you, rebecca. natalie, two last questions. first of all, conditions right now statewide, are the roads practically clear? and, secondly, next time this does han, what have we learned from this instance?
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>> yes. the roads are clear. we have the typical icy spots that we're monitoring, that we're treating so we're busy right now getting those motorists who had to abandon their cars, we're working with our resources to get them, to shuttle them back to those cars. we're still busy despite the fact that our roads might be clearing. next time we're going to work very closely with state, city, local officials to ensure that we have the proper time and the proper conditions to treat our roads and gridlock is simply not an ideal condition to us. >> thanks to both of you. rebecca, do appreciate your time and also appreciate your time as well, natalie. all right. i want to bring in "washington post" weather editor. jason, a lot of finger pointing has centered around to the forecasts leading up to the snowstorm. yesterday governor nathan deal said national forecasters were wrong. the national weather service said, quote, forecasts for this storm were spot on. a series of outlooks, watches
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and warnings began briefing local and state partners on sunday, january 26th. who's right here? >> i think the truth is in the middle somewhere. i mean, the national weather service was absolutely right that they issued a warning that morning, 3:38, that there would be hazardous weather in atlanta. so there's no question that the weather service got it right in the short term. now in the days prior there was some uncertainty about how far north the snow would get, whether the worse conditions would actually materialize in atlanta during the day or whether it would wait until later in the afternoon or into the evening on tuesday. so there was a little bit of a gray area in terms of what impact it would have in atlanta. in the daze days prior to tuesday. all forecasters were in consensus that this was going to be a serious storm. >> i mean, you know, again, some of this, i guess, to a certain extent is monday morning quarterbacking.
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could meteorologists have been more forceful? i mean, is it -- you know, again, two inches in certain parts of this country is not going to have a measurable effect. two inches in other parts of this country is going to have the effect that we saw to a certain extent, obviously not to the extent that we saw in atlanta. in the future what can be done to prevent things like this from a meteorological standpoint if anything? >> yeah, well, i think you have to be careful about crying wolf. i think you have to have situational awareness and know when there's a vulnerable population at play whmpt there's a hazardous situation about to unfold. in those situations you do need to be forceful, you do need to speak out. whether the national weather service and the broadcast meteorologists in atlanta were outspoken enough, that's an open question. they would say they were briefing the emergency management officials, they were doing their job, but i think as a weather community overall we have to really think carefully about how we can most effectively reach people in
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these situations where there's some uncertainty but try to help them make the best decision because you can have a great forecast but that forecast isn't effectively communicated. it has no value essentially. >> jason with the washington post, the weather editor. jason, thank you, folks. we continue to follow the breaking news in italy where once again a verdict is expected any minute now in what is the third trial against amanda knox who was convicted then acquitted in the murder of her former roommate, meredith kircher. we're going live to italy when that verdict comes down. also back here, some new signs house republicans may finally be ready to move on immigration reform. >> i think it's time to deal with it. we're going to talk to our members today about the principles the leadership team has put together. >> that was house speaker john boehner in maryland where they're meeting for their annual retreat. we'll talk to adam schiff who's calling on house republicans to
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pass the bipartisan bill that was approved by the senate last year. we'll talk to him after this break. as always, you can join our conversation on twitter. you can find me @craigmelvin. you can find us @newsnation. ...d for stealth... ♪ ...intelligence... endurance... affordability... adaptability... and when the world asked for the future. staying ahead in a constantly evolving world. that's the value of performance. northrop grumman. i have a big meeting when we land, but i am so stuffed up, i can't rest. [ male announcer ] nyquil cold and flu liquid gels don't unstuff your nose. they don't? alka seltzer plus night fights your worst cold symptoms, plus has a decongestant. [ inhales deeply ] oh. what a relief it is. cozy or cool? "meow" or "woof"?
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the justice department just notified the judge, the federal judge handling the boston marathon bombing case a few moments ago that it intends to seek the death penalty. should joe hare tsarnaev be convicted. pete williams is standing by for us in washington, d.c. pete, how much of a surprise is this? >> well, it's not a big surprise. we knew the justice department had to do this by tomorrow. that was the deadline set by the judge handling the case.
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it's certainly -- several factors weighed heavily in favor of the government doing this given the enormous impact that this crime had on the city of boston. they note in their filing that the killings were intentional. they also inflicted serious bodily injury. the nature of the crime, the grave risk that this put people. the fact that there were multiple killings. the fact that it was a betrayal of the united states encouraging others to commit acts of violence. impact on the victims. the selection of the site. the lack of remorse. all of these factors the justice department says weighed in favor of seeking the death penalty. now this will not be without some controversy. as you often find in a case like this, some families of the victims thought that the death penalty was not appropriate. "the boston globe" newspaper surveyed boston residents in september and by about two to one they opposed seeking the
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death penalty in the event that dzhokhar tsarnaev was convicted. massachusetts does not have the death penalty. it's one of several states that has done away with it. that doesn't stop the federal government from seeking it. this is not the first time that the justice department has sought the death penalty in a state which itself does not have the death penalty for state crimes. i guess to answer your question, it's not a big surprise here, certainly not in terms of timing, and i think it would have been a huge surprise if the government had chosen not to seek the death penalty for such a serious crime. >> pete, we do obviously know at this point the 20-year-old tsarnaev has pled not guilty. what more do we know, if anything, about a possible trial date? has one been set? >> no. no trial date has been set. you know, it's an unusual case in the sense that a lot of the pre-trial back and forth between the government and the defense is public, and you can look at it on the court docket. in this case a large number of
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the filings have been under seal so we haven't seen a lot of the back and forth that usually goes on between the government and the defense as they prepare for the case. we know that a trial date has been set in late june for the three friends of tsarnaev who are accused of not telling authorities about going to his dorm room, taking his laptop computer, throwing it away and then lying to federal investigators, but no trial date has been set for tsarnaev himself. >> pete williams, while you were speaking there we got this official statement from the attorney general saying after consideration of the relevant facts, the applicable regulations and the submissions made by the defendant's counsel i have determined that the united states will seek the death penalty in this matter. the nature of the conduct in this issue and the resultant harm compelled this decision. justice correspondent for us, pete williams, in washington. pete, thank you. that was just last april, three people killed. more than 260 folks injured in boston at the finish line of the marathon. the justice department announcing moments ago that it is going to seek the death
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penalty against dzhokhar tsarnaev, the 20-year-old who has pled not guilty. we'll pivot back to politics. house republicans huddled for their annual three-day retreat in maryland. the aim is to agree on an agenda for the 2014 year that shows americans that the gop is not just the opposition party but the alternative party. one of the key items on that agenda, a republican plan for immigration reform. congressman paul ryan has confirmed that the plan itself does include a path to legalization, not a path to citizenship for this country's 11 million or so undocumented immigrants. here's house speaker john boehner earlier today. >> you can't begin the process of immigration reform without securing our borders. and the ability to enforce our laws. everybody in our congress understands that's the first step in terms of meaningful reform of this problem.
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>> nbc news capitol hill correspondent luke russert joins me from cambridge, maryland, on the eastern shore. what more can you tell me about this gop immigration plan? >> well, craig, around 4:30 p.m. is when the leadership will announce this plan to their conference, and as of right now we're still waiting to get the specifics from them. what we do know is there will be some sort of pathway to legalization but not permanent -- i'm sorry, permanent status but not full, shall we say, citizenship. that's an important distinction that's caused a lot of rangling or ruffling of the feathers. a sticking point as we mentioned before comes down to border security. you heard it from speaker john boehner. since we last spoke i spoke to some of the house gop conference and outside groups, one thing they're really still hung up on is what constitutes border security, what does it look like, and then even if they were to agree to some border security
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that's more intense than the billions of dollars that went to bumping up our presence along the mexican/u.s. border from the senate bill, would the president actually enforce that? a lot of republicans don't trust the president to enforce any law they put forward and they point to the health care law because of that. so it's going to be interesting to see what exactly is proposed, how the conference reacts to it. one other nugget i'll throw in there, craig, greg walden, the nrcc chairman, what do you think the timing would be for this type of immigration reform? he said probably after any of the gop primaries in the spring. >> of course. of course. >> that will happen in the summer when the folks who vote on it could be inoculated from the trouble they would have from the far right members. i want to bring in adam schiff from california. a supporter, we should note, of the bipartisan immigration reform legislation that was
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approved by the upper chamber last year. first of all, congressman, let me just get your reaction to the republican plan as you just heard it there starting to be outlined here. their plan for immigration reform which unlike the bipartisan senate bill does not include a path to citizenship. could you support that? >> no, that's not what i want to see. on the positive side, craig, i'm glad the republicans are taking this up again. many wanted just to deep six this issue as long as they possibly could so i think this forward movement is positive. we don't want to have two classes of americans, the almost americans and then the fully american citizens. i don't think that makes much sense but it's at least a starting point to have conversations about specific legislation. the frustrating thing is if the speaker made the decision tomorrow to bring up that senate bill on the house floor, it would pass and we could resolve this issue as simple as that. >> it sounds like you're a little skeptical that that's going to happen.
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why is that? >> well, the one thing that, you know, i would add to the report that you just got is i think what's going to happen between the closed doors of that republican conference this week is you're going to have some of the republicans making the argument, hey, look, we'll become a small tent party. if we ever want the white house again, you'll have a very powerful faction of the republicans saying let's not bring up this issue that devieds our base. let's keep our soul focus on the affordable care act. that's the issue for us. a lot of the members are not going to want this on the plate and i'm afraid that political argument may overcome the policy argument among the republican conference. >> congressman, what about this argument as well that you've heard -- i'm sure you've heard from a few members on the other side of the aisle that part of the opposition is rooted in the fact that a lot of immigrants when they come to this country vote democratic and passing comprehensive immigration reform could very well be a nail in the
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coffin of the modern gop. what say you to that argument? >> well, that's a very cynical argument to say we don't want these folks as citizens because they won't vote for us. you know, i hope that they will put the policy interests of the country ahead. i certainly think it's the case as we saw in the last presidential election, if the republicans continue to stand in the way of immigration reform, if they continue to say to millions and millions of people that we're going to force you to stay in the shadows, they are going to be like the dinosaurs. they'll go the way of the dinosaurs politically. i don't think that's an option in the mid or long term. the question is do they decide in the short term they're better off not having this issue on the plate. >> president obama on the road today in wisconsin as i'm sure you know. yesterday he was in pennsylvania at both of those stops echoing familiar sentiments, a boiled down version of the state of the union speech. among other things, calling for a hike in the minimum wage in
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this country. we know that the average american supports it. apparently a majority of the house and senate, bipartisan support there y. is has this not happened yet? when is it going to happen? >> yeah, it should happen. it's very popular around the country. again, it's one of those issues where if you put it to a vote, it's going to pass. you know, some of the strong business interests are lobbying against and they have a disproportionate say when it comes to the house leadership so we may not get the chance to vote for it, but the reality is it's not only equitable in terms of trying to raise the wage of some of those who are struggling the most in this country but it's good economics. those folks have to, you know, put this income back into the economy to pay their rent, to buy groceries, to buy consumer goods. the companies that are selling all those goods, it's good for them too. >> republicans argue that it's going to cause especially small businesses, it would force them to layoff workers, that it's going to ultimately hurt a lot
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of the folks that you're trying to help. >> craig, this is always the argument that's made against the minimum wage, while in theory you can understand that argument, in practice there's been empirical evidence that that proves to be true. it doesn't affect behavior that way. we don't see job losses when we raise the minimum wage. we have a lot of historical data to deal with. it's not like it's the first time the minimum wage has been proposed to be increased. the reality is we're back at a level that we haven't seen since 1968 in terms of the value of the minimum wage. theoretically you can make that argument as some do. in practice empirically we don't see job losses accompany a drop in the minimum wage. >> i have to ask you about your democratic colleague, henry waxman, who has been a part of the lower chamber for, you correct me if i'm wrong, this is going into his fourth decade. i mean, this is his 20th term. such an influential voice for democrats especially. what are you going to miss most
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about congressman waxman? >> oh, boy, there's a long list of things that i will miss. he has had his hand in almost every major domestic issue in the last three or four decades. when you go to the store and you pick up food, you look at the nutrition label, you can thank henry waxman. similarly, when you look at prescription drugs, you want to go for the generic because it's cheaper, you can thank henry. in terms of environmental legislation, health care legislation, affordable care act, there is no other democrat that has had a bigger impact. it will leave a big hole in this institution and it's a big loss for california and the country. >> there are some speculating that he's getting out because he knows democrats have no chance of winning the house and he does not want to be around for another minority. >> no, i don't think that's the case. >> okay. >> i think henry is optimistic in terms of democratic fortunes. i think he would like to go on and do other things and he's decided after four decades that the time has come. >> always a pleasure.
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do appreciate it. still ahead, two big terror arrests amid concerns over security at the winter games. richard engel will join us live from sochi. liking your flat rate shipping. fedex one rate. really makes my life easier. maybe a promotion is in order. good news. i got a new title. and a raise? management couldn't make that happen. [ male announcer ] introducing fedex one rate. simple, flat rate shipping with the reliability of fedex. i took medicine but i still have symptoms. [ sneeze ] [ male announcer ] truth is not all flu products treat all your symptoms. what? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus severe cold and flu speeds relief to these eight symptoms. [ breath of relief ] thanks. [ male announcer ] you're welcome. ready? go. [ male announcer ] she won't remember this, being carried in your arms. but after a morning spent in the caribbean
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delicious, but say i press a few out flat, add some beef, sloppy joe sauce and cheese, fold it all up and boom!
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delicious unsloppy joes perfect for a school night. pillsbury grands biscuits. make dinner pop. more breaking news that we mentioned a few minutes ago. eric holder saying that the justice department will seek the death penalty against accused boston bomber dzhokhar tsarnaev. he released a statement in part, quote, the nature of the conduct at issue and the resultant harm compelled this decision. the decision comes more than nine months after those twin bombings rocked the finish line of the boston marathon. three people were killed. 260 other folks injured. tsarnaev's older brother was killed in a shootout with police days after the bombing. as pete williams just noted, no trial date has been set. if tsarnaev is convicted the justice department will, in
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fact, be seeking the death penalty. to other breaking news we have now learned that a jury is going to be delivering its verdict in the amanda knox trial. this is the third trial. it comes more than two years after they were acquitted in the 2007 murder. italy's supreme court overturned their acquittals in march of last year ruling key evidence was left out. since then knox has returned to the united states. she has remained at her home in seattle for this new trial. nbc's keith miller joins me live now from florence, italy. keith, do we have any sense at least at this point of which way the court might be leaning? >> reporter: well, it's speculation here. it is only speculation is that we'll see a guilty verdict in this primarily because the supreme court of italy sent back the appeal to be reheard saying
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that they found the original appeal hearing was full of diskrdi diskredi discrepanci discrepancies. they felt more than one person carried this out. amanda knox did not show up at any of the court sessions here. not required by law to do so. nonetheless, in the judge's eyes the fact that she stayed away or boycotted the appeal was not looked upon favorably here. must say they've been out deliberating for about ten hours now, which indicates, who knows, it could go earth way, really. >> all right. keith miller standing by for us in florence where, again, a jury and judge indicating that it will probably be sometime in the next hour when we get a verdict in the amanda knox murder trial, the third. coming up, we're going to talk to the son of an indiana state lawmaker who's making headlines after speaking out against his father's vote in favor of a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in indiana.
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chris smith. chris smith is gay and says that he's, quote, embarrassed and disgusted by his dad's vote. ♪ [ screaming ] ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] introducing the bold, all-new nissan rogue with intuitive all-wheel drive because winter needs a hero. ♪
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one month after twin blasts rocked volgograd, russian officials say they've identified two terrorist bombers and arrested two accomplices. they would not confirm if they were the same men who posted this video earlier this month claiming responsibility for the blasts and threatening to attack the winter olympics. sochi is nearly 400 miles from volgograd near dagistan. richard engel is live in sochi. richard, officials calling these suspects members of a known terrorist group.
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what more can you tell us about them? >> >>. >> reporter: according to russian officials they were accomplices from dagestan. they tried to help them. there was one suicide bombing inside the train station, another on a bus and about three dozen people were killed in these attacks. we're hearing today more from russian officials about security. i think it has to do with a run up to the sochi games. russia has been getting a beating in the press from u.s. officials about security. we're seeing russia trying to change the message giving more information out. this intelligence assessment. today there was a press conference by senior russian officials in sochi. according to russian intelligence there are no specific terror threats to the
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games, no suicide bombers on the loose and then they also talked about these arrestness volgograd. >> richard engel on the ground in sochi. as always, thank you. back here, activists are ramping up pressure against indiana state senators over a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage. house joint resolution 3 was approved by the indiana house tuesday after lawmakers decided not to include a ban on civil unions. it's now in the senate's hands. if approved, it could lead to a referendum in 2016. now the son of the representative, milo smith, who chairs the republican committee that successfully pushed that measure through is now speaking out against his father. chris smith, who is gay, is in a domestic partnership in california first posted his thoughts writing, quote, i'm not here to bad mouth my dad, i'm
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terribly disappointed in his decision and beliefs, but he's not going to change them now if he hasn't after all these years of knowing i am gay. chris smith joins me live now. chris, first of all, thanks for joining me. you recently also did an interview with nuvo, an alternative weekly publication in indianapolis. you told them that your father had not really discussed hjr 3 with you but you said, quote, making the decision, making the decision to vote for hjr 3 after having listened to all those people talk about love and family, it boggles the mind. all those people, meaning advocates who testified. you went on to say, quote, i'm really sad. i'm really embarrassed. i'm really disgusted by the whole thing. i'm confused as to what i should do. have you and your father had a conversation about it since? >> no. i'm sorry to say that we have not talked at all. >> have you reached out?
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rchlt >> i have not, nor has he. >> why have you not reached out? >> honestly, i don't think either one of us know what to say to each other right now. i think he knows i'm upset and i believe he's got some inner turmoil as well. >> what do you mean by inner turmoil? >> well, i think, you know, he has to have this discussion with himself about putting politics above family and i think he's having that conversation and i -- at least i hope he's having that conversation. >> when asked for a comment your father's spokesman said, quote, he stated that he loves his son very much and this is a personal issue. you hear that statement from the spokesman for your father. what's your response to that? >> i know he loves me and i love him, but this is -- this is putting politics above family to me. i'm pretty disappointed by it.
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>> what's been the response, if you don't mind me asking, what's been the response by some of the other family members? >> i have three sisters. they've been relatively supportive. i -- i have two that are younger that are kind of confused, i think. they want to support both of us, my dad and me. i have another sister that's a little younger than me that has been extremely supportive of me. >> you know, i read your statement on the facebook page there and you said that you were really sad, that you were really embarrassed, that you were really disgusted. you never said that you were really surprised at all. were you? were you surprised? are you surprised that this has become your father's political position? >> no, not at all. there was an article on a blog back in 2007 that i read where he came out and specifically said at the time that he was -- he believed that marriage was between a man, a woman and god
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so i have known pretty much all this time. i just didn't know that -- until a few weeks ago that this was coming up apparently. they voted on this once in 2011 and i didn't even know that happened at the time so -- >> all right. chris smith joining us live from california. chris smith, thank you so much. do appreciate your time. >> thank you. we are going to take a quick break here. when we come back, we will have more on that breaking news we have been following. the justice department's decision to seek the death penalty in the case of 20-year-old dzhokhar tsarnaev. if he is found guilty in the boston bombing attack. ♪ is
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[ male announcer ] new alka seltzer fruits chews. enjoy the relief! . we want to get reaction right now to that breaking news that we continue to follow here on msnbc. the justice department announcing moments ago that it will seek the death penalty against boston bombing suspect dzhokhar tsarnaev.
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joining me on the phone is liz norden. she is the mother of two sons who lost a right leg in the attack. liz, first of all your reaction to the news that the justice department is going to be seeking the death penalty. >> you know, it just makes me relieved that the attorney general believes that it was a terrorist attack or it's the death penalty and we support the decision. >> you do support the decision. were you consulted or do you know if the victims were consulted at all by the justice department? >> my boys were back in the summertime and to my knowledge all the victims were able to speak with the justice department. my boys decided not to. their only focus and main focus was around their recovery. they don't feel that whatever happens is going to change what happened to them. me being a mom, i felt it was very important that all the options are on the table for the jurors to decide so i support
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it. >> liz, how are your sons doing? again, both have lost a leg. how are they coping? >> you know, amazingly, they're doing a heck of a lot better than i am. they're strong. they've come to terms with it. they've accepted it and they're moving on and they're totally focusing on themselves getting better in their recovery. you know, they're doing -- they're very strong. they're doing okay. i think they're doing a lot better than i am because for me it's very sad for me to see what they go through day in and day out. >> liz norden joining us via television and responding to the news that the department of justice will be seeking the death penalty against dzhokhar tsarnaev if he is convicted of the boston bombings attack. last april, three people killed, more than 260 others hurt. this death penalty trial will be the highest profile no doubt since the timothy mcvai trial. we're going to take a quick break. we'll be right back.
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this is msnbc. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation. plus, in clinical studies, celebrex is proven to improve daily physical function so moving is easier. celebrex can be taken with or without food. and it's not a narcotic. you and your doctor should balance the benefits with the risks. all prescription nsaids, like celebrex, ibuprofen, naproxen and meloxicam have the same cardiovascular warning. they all may increase the chance of heart attack or stroke, which can lead to death. this chance increases if you have heart disease or risk factors such as high blood pressure or when nsaids are taken for long periods. nsaids, like celebrex, increase the chance of serious skin or allergic reactions or stomach and intestine problems, such as bleeding and ulcers, which can occur without warning and may cause death.
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patients also taking aspirin and the elderly are at increased risk for stomach bleeding and ulcers. don't take celebrex if you have bleeding in the stomach or intestine, or had an asthma attack, hives, other allergies to aspirin, nsaids or sulfonamides. get help right away if you have swelling of the face or throat, or trouble breathing. tell your doctor your medical history. and find an arthritis treatment for you. visit and ask your doctor about celebrex. for a body in motion. four hours on the slopes.urs on weights. visit and ask your doctor about celebrex. and two hours doing this stuff. which leaves me approximately two minutes to get my banking done. so i use the citi mobile app to quickly check my accounts and pay my bills. which leaves me about five seconds to kick back. that was nice. bank from almost anywhere with the citi mobile app. citi, with you every step of the way.
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less than 80 hours to go before the big game the super bowl excitement in new york is mounting. times square has turned into super bowl boulevard. that guy has a cool scarf. new yorkers and visitors from out of town have turned into super bowl fanatics. >> i got my jersey, the hat, the glove. i would wear the other one. got the tattoo everywhere i go. >> denver! >> broncos. >> peyton manning, peyton manning. >> seahawks. yeah, baby. >> yeah, baby. >> ron mott is for us in times square. let's start with security for the big game. it's always the headline there. certainly the case this year, as well. what are you seeing in terms oft that? >> there is plenty of security.
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it isn't so present that it takes away from the experience that people are trying to get here on super bowl boulevard which is basically a 13 block long football theme park. there is a stage with music, blondy scheduled to perform. jim brown scheduled to sign autographs on saturday. one of the biggest attractions if you can see it is this giant slide, a six story tall toboggan. what that has to do with football, i don't know. people braving the cold to slide down that thing. it is the only attraction that costs money. it is $5 a ride and all of the money goes to charity. this is the first super bowl played in a cold weather city outside. the game is going onp sunday night in new jersey. until that game all of the action is here in times square. at this point all we can hope
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for is a really tight, good football game. >> who do you have? seahawks or broncos? >> both teams are great. you have the defense in seattle and the best offense in denver. i think denver will take the game. >> ron mott just around the corner for us. thank you so much. if you don't live in new york city you might think that the big apple is hosting the super bowl. it is not. it is in new jersey. time for the "news nation" gut check. the virginia state senate voted down a proposed billet that would increase oversight of quote mature or elderly drivers. the 57-year-old waters says the aim is to make roads safer, not infringe on rights. the proposal would have required all drivers to renew their licenses at age 75, not 80.
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licenses would have also expired every five years and not every eight. the law would have allowed people to report bad elderly drivers. the law also would have allowed a judge to require, quote, mature driver courses in certain cases. waters says the bill had the spirit of the state's dmv and aarp but did not have the support of his own 85-year-old mother. what does your gut tell you? should states enact laws restricting elderly drivers? you can go to to vote. take a look at what "news nation" is saying about yesterday's gut check. members of the national football team taking steps. ncaa says the move would
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undermine the purpose of college. we asked, do you think college football players should unionize. 37% of you said yes. 63% said no. and that's going to do it for this edition of "news nation." "the cycle" is up next. now let's say a friend invites you over and they have a really big, really fun pool. and then another friend invites you over who has a much smaller, less fun pool. which pool would you rather go to? does the big pool have piranhas? i believe so. does it have a dinosaur that can turn into a robot and chop the water like a karate ninja? yeah. wait, what? why would it not? [ male announcer ] it's not complicated. bigger is better. and at&t now covers more than 99% of all americans. ♪ 100% greek. 100% mmm... so mmm, you might not believe it's 100 calories. yoplait greek 100. there are hundreds of reasons to love it.
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so for a cleaner, healthier mouth, go with #1 dentist recommended listerine®. power to your mouth™. also try listerine® pocketpaks to kill bad breath germs on-the-go. it's 3:00 america is talking and so are we. president obama continues his two day four state push on the economy. we are live to separate the rhetoric from reality. >> southern discomfort. atlanta may be frozen but politics are heated as ever. the weather nerds versus politicians and politicians versus each other and people versus elements. justin bieber faces music in toronto accused of attacking his limo driver.
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the third legal tango in two weeks. and a walk down abby's road. is it time to do away with the state of the union. president obama is about to leave milwaukee for his fourth post state ooft union pitch. he is headed for nashville while republicans are powwowing at the annual retreat. one of the deliver four gop rebuttals is about to speak. her republicans are calling this year's event the congress of tomorrow. this year the gop is taking on a talk like approach with big names outside the box speakers and innovation lounge. it is happening now on the eastern shore